This silent German film tells a tale of jealousy, obsession and murder, set against the backdrop of the circus. Carnival owner "Boss" Huller (Emil Jannings) used to be a talented acrobat. Now he owns a lowbrow sideshow act with his wife. When he meets a beautiful young woman (Lya De Putti), he runs off with her, abandoning his family. But a strapping trapeze artist (Warwick Ward) soon lures away Huller's new lover. Huller then realizes he has swiftly moved from cheater to cuckold.